Greater Fergus Falls has announced its new executive director, Fergus Falls native Annie Deckert. She was officially chosen on April 17 after a hiring process that began in February and will take up the executive director mantle beginning May 13.

Deckert graduated from Fergus Falls High School and received her A.A. from M State. She then attended St. Cloud State University where she earned a B.A. in community development, and went on to earn her master’s in public administration from Hamline University in St. Paul. She started off working in the public sector, becoming the director of economic development for the city of Elk River in 2010. In 2013 she made the switch to the private sector with the launch of consulting firm Decklan Group, which specializes in helping businesses expand and improve their workforce.

“She’s worked in the public sector, the private sector and in economic development,” says Mayor Ben Schierer. “She has a proven track record of collaboration and bringing people together, and that’s exactly what we need in this community.”

For her part, Deckert says she’s ready to work with local businesses, community organizations and local leaders, “to bring new economic life to Fergus Falls, while honoring the rich history of this unique community.”

Greater Fergus Falls is a private economic-development nonprofit organization set up last spring with the support of the Fergus Falls City Council and Shierer. Their focus on growing and revitalizing the city’s business community aligns well with Deckert’s academic and professional history.  “She’s going to bring optimism, a vision and positivity,” says Schierer. “We’re extremely lucky to have her.”

Steve Rufer, chairman of the board for Greater Fergus Falls, said, “We are delighted that Fergus Falls was able to attract Annie Deckert, with her experience and record of accomplishment we are certain that the great progress now underway in Fergus Falls will continue and even accelerate.”

In the meantime, current executive assistant, NeTia Bauman will act as interim executive director until May 13 when Deckert will begin her new duties.

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